Remotely connect to shared folders (possibly Mapped as drives)

I wanted to know if anyone could recommend a software (or if it's just built into windows), but this is what I need to be able to do:

Connect to my office PC from my laptop, but only on a shared directory basis.

For example, my office PC (ABC) will have:

shared_dir_1
shared_dir_2

Etc.

Laptop: Windows Visto Home Premium
Office PC: Windows XP SP 3

And on my laptop, I would just like to be able to click a mapped drive and access those remote directories as if they were just in my local network.

But obviously I'm in another part of the State most of the time, so my network cannot be reached like normal.

Any ideas?
w3developingAsked:
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acesover2000Commented:
a VPN will allow you to create a tunnel to access your office LAN from anywhere over the internet securely as if your machine were right there.  There are a LOT of different ways to implement a VPN but in your situation, assuming you have limited equipment, you can set up your office desktop as a VPN host via:
http://www.chicagotech.net/vpnsetup.htm#How to configure Win 2000/XP Pro as VPN host

setup vista VPN client at:
https://www.publicvpn.com/support/Vista.php

You must then make sure TCP port 1723 is forwarded to that PC and that your router supports VPN passthrough and GRE encapsulation (most of the newer cheap ones do support it).
You also have to consider if your office's public IP address changes (if you have dynamic address from your ISP or static), cuz you'll need that IP to connect the client, (you could use dyndns.org to get around that i think)
Otherwise, it wouldn't take a good tech more than 30 minutes to set that up for you properly and it sounds like you might benefit from a good hand, shell out for someone who's understands VPNs.

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acesover2000Commented:
^^ but I've read that Microsoft VPN is vulnerable to some really advanced hacking techniques, just FYI. There are free alternatives that are stronger but more difficult to configure
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mbeckerman44Commented:
You might check with your IT person at the ofice and see if they have a VPN Router connected to the internet currently. If so they should be able to install a client and give you access.

If not they can purchase something like a Linksys RVS400 for around $150.00. And then you could install the client yourself. Hopefully you have a static address from the ISP at your office.
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O. PierruSystem adminCommented:
LogMeIn Hamachi is a very secure and easy way to access your LAN remotely like a traditional VPN.
No need to buy new routers or to configure your firewals. Easy to install yourself and cheap.
https://secure.logmein.com/products/hamachi/vpn.asp

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